There are more players in the e-commerce now than ever before

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As Q2 winds down, this is the slow season for many retail businesses. ???? Add to that the fact that ecommerce is growing exponentially and competition is at an all time high. There are more players in the game now than ever before. With competition on the rise, ads are becoming more and more expensive. ????

Things aren’t as easy for us as they once were. I’ve seen so many great posts recently saying exactly this. So by now you should already know that you can’t get away with crappy pictures and cheap copy. We’re in the era of brand building — the only sustainable way to stay relevant.

But how do you use this to lower ad costs?

The strategy is simple. Don’t exclusively optimize ads for Purchases. I am consistently getting cheaper CPC by having Traffic Campaigns or Optimizing for Adds to Cart.

This is all very obvious. ????‍♂️ Of course this will lower your CPC. But who cares about CPCs? You can’t buy feed your family with link clicks. You can’t buy a Lambo with link clicks, either. Cash is king ???? — only Return on Ad Spend matters to most of us.

With this method I’ve been using the struggle is no longer, “how do I get people to click on my ads?” but rather now it becomes, “How do I get these website visitors to convert?”

If you follow this checklist, you will definitely see your conversion rate and AOVs rise, while driving cheaper traffic to your store. ????

1. Invest in a speed optimized mobile responsive theme for your store. It doesn’t need to be anything crazy expensive. You can get GORGEOUS, fast, mobile friendly themes for $50. With a little bit of effort, your website will stand toe-to-toe with some of the biggest brands in the world.

2. Make sure your page loads FAST. There are plenty of shopify apps for optimizing your photo sizes for this exact purpose. Every millisecond helps.

3. Utilize stock photos — especially of people. People respond best to seeing people. Just having faces on the page will increase the conversion rate. Even if these are not product photos.

4. Your product photos should be congruent. For products, everything should have the same background (like solid white). Or if you are selling apparel or something like this, use photos that all are zoomed in the same. Example: If Product A is a skirt and shows a full body shot of a woman wearing it, you don’t want Product B (another skirt) to only show the woman from the waist down.

5. Consumers now are smarter than many marketers are willing to admit. Less is more. People don’t want so many pop-ups, flashing lights, and urgency timers any more. Less is more. Instead of having every conversion app, find one (maybe two) that work, and stick with them. Personally I like an exit intent gamefied sales pop-up (read Wheelio), and a very simple upsell app.

6. Only use smart upsells. Don’t use an app that picks random items to cross-sell or upsell to your customers. I don’t like to overdo it with these. Some people like to have the cross-sell on the product page (think “frequently purchased with…”) and an add to cart page upsell (people also purchased…). These may work for some, but personally the only time I saw a noticeable increase in AOV from one of these apps was when I paid for a Post-Checkout One Click Up-Sell App. Search the Shopify App store. You want to upsell something significantly cheaper than what they are purchasing. A classic example for this would be if you are selling some sort of electronic device, once they checkout, there will be a thank you popup where with one click (and not having to re-add CC information) they can purchase batteries for a few dollars. The conversion rate for this type of upsell is insanely high.

7. Connect your brand to a charity. For every purchase, donate a small percentage to a charity that you know your niche will respond positively to. I cannot stress this enough. It cuts into your margins in the short term, but you FAR exceed that cost with what you gain in lifetime value. Getting repeat customers is everything when it comes to sustaining your business.

Well then you retarget them with facebook ads

Facebook ads sets are getting expensive
Facebook Ads cost is higher in Q2

If you implement all of this, you’ll be in a great spot, but you’re not done yet. What about those other people you drove to your store but despite how nice your website is they don’t buy today?

Well then you retarget them with facebook ads. Since this is a warm audience, they should still convert at a higher rate than cold traffic interest/behavior based targetting.

I was on the phone earlier with my Facebook Marketing Expert who couldn’t agree more with my strategy. She told me that ad spend is at an all time high, and they are expecting an even further surge from now through the Fourth of July (American Independence day — there will be tons of big brand sales). Facebook is encouraging advertisers to optimize for link clicks, as it’s getting insanely competitive in most niches for only optmizing for purchases.

Just remember, when you target purchases, you’re letting facebook do the work to find your best customers (but recently this is becoming too expensive for many stores). With this strategy I’ve laid out, more of the control is now in your hands. It’s up to you to turn these leads into customers (and eventually into repeat customers referring friends).

Take a look at the screenshot. Traffic and conversion rates both increasing simultaneously! What more could you want?

Anybody else having success doing this? You probably want me to keep my mouth shut so those link clicks stay cheap! ???? Sorry!

Written by – Mike Pavlou

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